Its early, the clock is barely six. The daylight has just begun to lighten up. The fog is dense. The plan today is to leave the cabin early, for heading down for transportation home. You fold away the curtain, the sight is barely 20m. So time to make a plan…You eat the breakfast and hope for the fog to lighten. But it won’t. Time for making a decision. You can stay for a while and hope it will be better. The other will got options about it. The right decision will be to wait, but do you got the guts for it? If not you better be good at micro-navigation.
The second base to stand on while being in wilderness environment will be navigation skills. The better you are in that, the more farsightedness you will got. But what does that mean? Well it means you can have control of the status of the group, and keep the three step thinking ahead. Prepare for the river-crossing coming up. Or remember to check Peters blisters etc. And if it something that is important, it is to choose the right way. You can avoid avalanche risks and also steep ground etc.
So for being able to leave the cabin this morning, you need to got good skills in micro navigation. And what is micro navigation then? You navigate in a series of short distance, called legs and focus on the immediate features in your landscape to continually ascertain position. This will minimise the chance for error. Training this will make to become a real good navigator. With concentration of small parts you learn how the map is build up. You will get a grater awareness of you immediate environment, using your sense of sight, sound and smell and touch and relating this information to the use of robust and reliable equipment and maps. The more navigation techniques you carry with you in your skills, the more capable navigator you will be. So if you are in a situation as the example above, then use the right judgement for the right decision. If you are a good navigator, then you know what and how to do, do not put the other participant in a bad situation. If you are a leader this is another important ground to stay sable on. This is a knowledge you must master. So grab the map and the compass, but use the micro navigation skills to really good, then you are a bit safer…
(always now where you are…) So how can you develop your skills in a well known area? Ask your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend to drive to a place blindfolded. You got a kilometre spot in were you are, and to go to a attack point. The 4 D is good to have in mind…
Direction, distance, duration, description.
The 4 Ds navigation technique for hillwalkers and Mountain Leaders. – YouTube
See ya tomorrow, then we will take about safety planning….